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How anonymous are Bitcoins?

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Bitcoins they were born in 2009, but hardly anyone knew them before mid-April 2021, when they reached the value of beyond 63 thousand dollars, only to collapse within a few weeks. One of the things that, however, almost everyone knows about Bitcoin is that I am anonymous.

Or at least, so you think: those unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies are in fact convinced that economic transactions carried out with Bitcoin, Ethereum or other virtual currencies are not traceable and that you can buy anything by paying in cryptocurrency and remaining totally unknown to everyone. Tax included.

Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are actually the least anonymous form of payment of all

The fact that Bitcoins are anonymous, therefore, is a false myth in all respects. There is a very clear reason why it has spread, but this does not mean that believing in the anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions is a sensational mistake.

Because everyone believes that Bitcoins are anonymous

bitcoin

If everyone is convinced that Bitcoins are anonymous it is because Bitcoins have been badly told by the international press which, especially recently, has talked about Bitcoin only on the occasion of ransomware attacks by hacker collectives. THE ransomware are particular types of computer viruses, which encrypt information on a device making it illegible. Hackers are asking for a ransom to the victim (ransom, in English) in exchange for the key to decrypt the data.

This ransom is almost always asked for in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and this has largely helped create the false myth of Bitcoin anonymity. The common person, in fact, thinks that hackers choose this form of payment precisely to remain anonymous.

Because Bitcoins are not anonymous

bitcoin

Bitcoins, and all other cryptocurrencies, are by no means anonymous because each transaction is recorded in a kind of public diary, called “ledger“, which anyone can consult. will not find names and surnames of those who bought and sold Bitcoins, or made purchases by paying in Bitcoins.

On the contrary, it will find lengthy strings of numbers and letters which indicate from which “wallet“did the money go and what other wallet did it end up in. The wallets are i virtual wallets where Bitcoins are stored and each wallet has a master. To open a wallet, however, you need to declare your name and surname.

As long as we talk about famous international platforms recognized by financial institutions, such as Coinbase, Conio or others, then it is certain that we cannot obtain any anonymity: to open a wallet we will have to provide ours identity documents, which will be verified before the account is opened. Other platforms, usually headquartered in tax havens, allow you to use one pseudonym.

But even using a pseudonym it is not at all certain that we can remain anonymous. Any investigating authority, in fact, investigating us would be able to discover at least two purchases we made in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies (as long as they are both made with the same cryptocurrency). At this point it would be enough for you to look for the two purchases in the cryptocurrency ledger, to find out the string corresponding to our wallet. Once our wallet is known, all transactions made by and for that wallet are known.

Let’s clarify, for those who know the functioning of the blockchains on which cryptocurrencies are based, which we are simplifying to the bone: the whole procedure it is certainly not simple, but certainly within the reach of the police.

Are there anonymous cryptocurrencies?

bitcoin

Some cryptocurrencies, such as Monero, Zcash And Dash, are passed off as anonymous. But, in reality, the only thing the platforms that manage them do is obfuscate the wallet, with various techniques. Therefore, these are not anonymous cryptocurrencies but cryptocurrencies whose owner is more difficult (but not impossible) to trace.

For those looking for real anonymity in the cryptocurrency world, however, there are two options that actually work, but both are illegal. The first illegal option is to use the old, classic, wooden head: a intermediary who buys Bitcoins or any other virtual currency on our behalf. The mafias of half the world already do it, and it is not legal practically anywhere.

The other option is to buy Bitcoin for cash, through special ATMs. These ATMs will deposit the purchased Bitcoins into a wallet. They already exist Bitcoin ATM also in Italy in Milan, Rome, Turin, Rovigo, Trieste, Genoa, Livorno, Naples, Bari, Palermo, Catania, Syracuse and Cagliari.

But with the Bitcoin ATMs present in Italy it is not possible to circumvent the regulations in force and obtain anonymity: they require in any case the recognition of the wallet owner.

There are, elsewhere, some branches that do not carry out any real recognition of the user and let him pay money to buy Bitcoin simply by entering an absolutely anonymous pair of values: username and password.

In both cases, however, buying Bitcoins with these ATMs involves paying for one very high commission: between 7% and 10%, against the average 1.5% of normal cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

Why do hackers use Bitcoins?

bitcoin

One wonders, at this point, why hackers and criminals 2.0 are using cryptocurrencies for their illegal business. The reason is quite simple: because they have skills to make it very difficult to trace the owner of a wallet.

THE wallets used by hackers there are a lot of them, they often change owners, they are opened and closed frequently, they are used to buy other cryptocurrencies and the most “discreet” platforms that exist to make money transfers are always used.

In this way it is very difficult to trace the real owner of the Bitcoins and, what’s more, what you will be able to find will be his. false identity purpose built to handle these affairs. After, therefore, the investigators will have to do a second job: to understand who is behind that nickname.

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